James Franco has taken up dancing and surfing as a form of “therapy” to help him overcome his addictions.
The 127 Hours star is “starting a new chapter” in his life in a bid to broaden his interests so he isn’t constantly working.
“It’s a kind of therapy for me…,” he tells Out.com of his new activities. “I was very work-addicted, and addicted to other things – not substances, I got over that a long time ago – but I’ve recently changed my life, and this is part of my therapy.”
James reveals he struggled with addiction problems when he was young, but he was able to overcome some of his vices after throwing himself into acting. However, his “addictive personality” led him to battle periods of depression.
“When I was a teenager I got over certain addictions, and that’s when I started acting, at age 17,” he says. “I really threw myself into it, and that became everything, to the point where I didn’t even socialize. And then after, like, 10 years of that, at age 27, I realized, ‘Man, I’m so depressed. On the surface my life seems pretty good – I have a career and everything – but I feel isolated and lonely.’ So then I threw myself into school, but again it was just this sort of running, running, running…”
Franco has since taken the time to re-evaluate his life and it’s only now, at 39, that he feels he is starting to find balance.
“Most actors come to a point in their lives where they have to reassess what they’re doing and why they’re doing it,” he adds, “and for me, after going back to school and trying to do all these other things, this new chapter, with surfing and dancing, is really about slowing down and trying to focus on fewer things but in a deeper, more quality-filled way.”